Your success as a writer.
Business of Writing,  Motivation

As a Writer, Do You View Yourself as a Success or a Failure? It’s important.

Dear Writer,


This morning I want to talk about success and failure. 


As a writer, how you view success and failure is as important as everything else in the world of writing. 

Do you stall in your writing because you are afraid of failure? Afraid that you will put in the vast amount of time necessary to produce a short story only to never get published let alone get a review?

It’s time to put an end to that way of thinking. It’s time to revise the way you think about success and failure.



You can't fail if you don't quit. You can't succeed if you don't start. -Michael Hyatt

How do you view success? 

  • Is it that your first novel appears on the New York Times “Best Sellers” list? 
  • Is it that your novel found an agent and/or publisher with ease?
  • Is it that you finished the rough draft of your first novel?
  • Is it that your writing had an impact on someone’s life?
  • Is it that, in writing, you feel complete?
  • Is it getting 100 – 500 words on the page each and every day?

How do you view failure?

  • Is it the first rejection letter?
  • Is it the first contest you entered?
  • Is it the fact that you didn’t gain the writing position you applied for?
  • Is it that Aunt Bernice told you writing is a hobby and not a REAL career?
  • Is it that teacher who told you that you should choose a different career path than that of a writer?

How do the events you consider as your failures make you feel?

  • Do they instill a feeling that you are unworthy of being called a writer?

OR

  • Do they ring in your head with the acronym F.A.I.L.

F = FIRST

A=ATTEMPT

I=IN

L=LEARNING

I saw that (F.A.I.L.) on an educational social media group several years ago and it has stuck with me.

It’s like the old adage: If at first you don’t succeed, try – try again.


This site and the email newsletter that accompanies it (Ink & Keyboard Weekly – you can subscribe HERE) as well as my career as a writer are just that: an effort to try again. Learning to write as my own boss has given me struggles, but I signed a contract with myself early in the month of June (Have You Tried Writing a Contract for Yourself as a Writer?) that has given me more of a focus.

Although I have published a few poems and short stories, my first novel (or should I say novels because I have a file drawer or two filled with beginnings and extreme rough drafts) has yet to be written to completion.

Now, I am pulling together the bits and pieces of two of these projects (one a complete rough draft and one that is in the research phase) and trying again. The only way to see if either of these will be successful is to see each project through to the publishing phase and let my readers have the final say.


You will never know if you can be successful as a writer if you don’t get the words on the page. At least that way, someone can read them and give you insight. So what if they find a great deal for you to revise. That’s the job of a writer – revise until you get it right.

And if you keep revising until you get it right, then you can’t be considered a failure.

On a final note: I have several “reality” television documentaries that are my motivation for personal success: “The Foods that Built America,” “Shark Tank,” “Undercover Boss,” and the various cooking competition shows. Each of these in its own way delivers a message about success and failure.

It’s time to call yourself a success. A success for getting started. A success for getting words on the page each and every day. A success for at least submitting your work to a contest, an agent, or a publisher.

And remember, every day you fail to quit, you are a success.

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